ImmunoPrecise Antibodies (TSX:V – IPA) was a quiet, private Victoria-based company that had established itself as a successful, albeit small, contributor to the Canadian biotech scene. That is all changing with a vengeance under the leadership of it’s new President & CEO Dr. Jennifer Bath. And perhaps more tellingly, with the assistance of her Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Deanna Dryhurst and Director of Global Project Management Kari Graber, this team has helped make the now publicly traded ImmunoPrecise arguably the industry’s first full-service antibody discovery provider. And they are exciting shareholders with significant worldwide growth and revenue up over 400% this year alone.
A lot of conversation and ink has been used in the media decrying the lack of role models in science for girls and young women. And perhaps that is a function of where we are looking. There is no doubt our education system and academia is too often the focus, and found to be wanting. Dr. Bath and the team at ImmunoPrecise remind us that it is worth exploring the private sector for success stories. It is certainly a story that the shareholders at IPA are enjoying and has them looking for better things ahead.
Dr. Bath began her career as an academic, becoming the founder and executive director of the Concordia College Global Vaccine Institute. She then moved to the private sector where she spent 15 years with Aldevron LLC, serving as its Global Director. Dr. Dryhurst has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UVic. Her work in developing ImmunoPrecise’s proprietary single B cell technology has been critical to the company’s growth and profit margins. Kari Grabner has more than 20 years experience in biotech manufacturing quality assurance, and has been critical to the success of IPA’s customer service model.
Most importantly, Dr. Bath and her team have given ImmunoPrecise a view of the future that is international is scope and scale. Her ambitious business plan is to be the partner-of-choice for the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies seeking treatments for major diseases. And perhaps not surprisingly, IPA’s recent acquisition of ModiQuest Research in the Netherlands brought another female STEM leader into the fold. Dr. Debby Krusijsen is the head of research at the lab which recently announced the expansion of its human therapeutic discovery platform in Europe and the US, partnering with Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
The competitive world of bioscience - and the public markets - rewards skill, experience, commitment and boldness. Canada can take pride in a company whose female leadership team exhibits all of these characteristics.